Chief Technology Officer David Rafalovsky of Sbernak announced Wednesday that a second supercomputer and artificial intelligence enhancements will include Sberbank’s advanced digital services, which already include cloud computing and virtual assistant software.
Russia’s largest lender is investing more resources in non-banking services as it adjusts to the transition to more technology systems. Last year, it removed the word “bank” from its official logo and on Thursday unveiled Christofari Neo, a second supercomputer to meet internal and external demand for artificial intelligence, which has exceeded many expectations.
The supercomputer was named after the bank’s first customer, Nikolai Christofari, 180 years ago.
Along with other Russian companies such as Yandex and Tinkoff, the lender is developing an ecosystem of services that were not originally part of its core business to stem banks’ shrinking margins.
Russia’s central bank has hinted that banks may need additional buffers if capital expenditures exceed 30% of their total capital, but the final decision has yet to be made.
However, Rafalovsky said Sberbank, whose services include e-commerce, cyber security and cloud services, remains well positioned to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in technology.
Sberbank needs top IT talent in order to further realise its technological ambitions. Rafalovsky points out that the current technological highlight is ML Space Private, an AI development toolkit that allows third parties to tap into Sberbank’s services without fully connecting to SberCloud.
Sberbank, whose assets are majority owned by the Russian government, has assets of 36.8 trillion rubles (521.5 billion euros) and a market value of 113 billion.
Sberbank chief executive German Gref said on Tuesday the company was aiming to expand its digital offering to other European countries, while Rafalovsky said spin-offs of digital assets would be possible in due course.